US, Canada divide on immigration standards



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a town hall meeting at the Memorial hall at city hall on January 12, 2017 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

By K.J. Gandhi, Columnist

This is about a tale of two nations.

One is a conservative nation with a leader quick to sign executive orders without thinking about the potential backlash, and then there is a liberal nation with a leader quick to counteract the actions of the other.

As President Donald Trump halted the refugee program, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instantaneously tweeted that the refugees are welcomed in Canada.

Our nation has shattered the hopes and dreams of future immigrants. While we should still take extreme precaution when accepting refugees, halting the program and instating the immigration ban is such a drastic move.

Earlier this week, Canadian tech executives stated that they will try to get the Canadian government to issue special work visas to the stranded workers.

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    There seems to be an obvious rift between the United States and Canadian governments. While the new Trump administration is constantly making waves in the news, Trudeau is using the liberal platform to essentially “clean up” his mess.

    Trudeau is fostering a safe place for refugees and immigrants to travel in the Western hemisphere, while Trump pushes them away. If this trend continues, perhaps Canada will become the ideal “land of the free” for future immigrants.

    My parents immigrated here in the mid-1980s from India for better opportunities and also to be with family that immigrated here before them. They were able to get a better education despite working menial jobs just to support the family. They were also able to raise me and my two siblings in the northwest suburbs of Chicago without worrying that they were going to be banned from the country if we traveled abroad.

    Although I’m not too invested into my heritage, it’s interesting to reflect on how my parents are just one couple out of millions of Americans in the history of this nation who came here with a vision.

    A vision of a better future — of being in a nation where your neighbors all come from different backgrounds but can live next to each other without dispute. Instead of worrying about being discriminated against, they focused on being hopeful about different opportunities to succeed.

    This isn’t the case today.

    Today, thousands of immigrants from the seven nations that were banned from entering the United States are fearful that they won’t get to see their families, or even get back to their careers. Would they even feel safe in this country if they were able to get back?

    We’re a nation that was founded on egalitarian beliefs — equality for all. And ultimately, it seems as if we’ve forgotten this ideology, whereas our neighbors up north are embracing it with open arms.

    K.J. is a freshman in DGS.

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